The Lead Horsch(el)
By Torleif Sorenson on 9/15/14
Billy Horschel missed the cut at The Barclays, the first of four "playoff" events in the 2014 PGA Tour season. However, he had played well enough to make the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston one week later. Horschel more than made up for his MC in Boston by finishing T-2. The very next Sunday at Cherry Hills outside Denver, he won the BMW Championship and was brimming with confidence — even to the point where he felt he could win the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta just one week later.
That he did yesterday afternoon, shooting 66-66-69-68 = 269 (-11) to not only win his second consecutive event, capture the FedEx Cup, and a bonus check for a cool $10 million. Horschel finished the championship first in GIR (57 of 72), tied for fifth in proximity to the hole (avg 32 inches), sixth in strokes gained in putting (0.815), tied for eieth in scrambling (10 of 15, 66%), and 12th in overall driving distance.
Confidence, indeed, can go a long way.
It is equally interesting to note that since the FedEx Cup playoffs began in 2007, no player who has won the cup entered the playoffs ranked lower than 19th. This time, Horschel began the playoffs ranked 69th in the points standings.
With a T-2, a win, and then another win in the last three weeks, Horschel clearly has the hot hand. But because the three wildcard selections for the U.S. Ryder Cup team were made five days before Horschel started his hot run, he was left off the team and, presumably, will watch the Ryder Cup from his home in the Jacksonville, Florida area — if he is not at the hospital with his wife, who is expected to deliver the couple's first child in roughly two weeks' time.
The Shot of the TournamentWithout question, this award must go to Rory McIlroy:
Read an interesting golf article? Tip Your Editor!
[ comments ]
If anyone says they called this at the beginning of the season, they're full of Horschel.
joe jones says:
I don't know about anyone else but I'm just about up to my eyeballs watching Golf on TV. Great stuff but enough is enough, Now all we have left is the Ryder Cup. I never thought I would say it but I long for the old silly season. Grand Slam golf, Wendy's Three Tour Challenge and all of those made for TV exhibitions in the past. Now we have what is called The Wrap Around Season. Has anyone else noticed that there were a lot of weary players out on tour. Also, am I the only one that feels that the prize money is obscene.I would like to see a financial statement showing where the money is coming from, who gets what and why some of it isn't going toward growing the game at the local level. Like everything else in the world the fat cats are getting fatter and the average golfer gets no benefit. Just wondering.
Horschel winning this thing shows the flaw in the system. The FedEx cup shouldn't be about who is hot at the moment, it should be the best player all year. I've watched a lot of golf this season, and he was no where to be found. The last 4 tournaments shouldn't hold so much weight.
It felt like he was not only hot at the moment, but fresh from missing so many cuts all year. The players that have been in the top 20 all year were tired and making mental mistakes down the stretch...
I agree with Trip's statement which is why I believe they are going to put in some time off between the events. This will allow the top players some rest.
[ post comment ]